πŸ₯‡ BANNER FIND OF A LIFETIME- South Carolina CONTINENTAL Dragoons

VMI Digger

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Hey guys,

While this hobby certainly has its highs and lows, perseverance always seems to pay off. A little over a year ago I got my first Safari and like most my initial finds began modest (lots of iron nails and aluminum pull tabs). Then after months swinging the machine something amazing happened- I found my first British pewter buttons from the Revolutionary War. Matching 3rd and 19th Regiment of Foot pewter buttons. My research proved that the British had landed at the site and with Gheenoe's recent discovery of a 23rd Regiment of Foot button, we can confirm occupation by the 3rd, 19th, and 23rd...tasked with capturing Francis Marion, the famed "Swamp Fox". While the British were unsuccessful in Marion's capture, the British ambush did result in the capture of 67 Continentals.

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From this point forward I was hooked on detecting and the history of the Revolutionary War. Tons of research later, multiple remote explorations with Gheenoe78, and a new CTX 3030 proved to make the difference today. My find of a lifetime- an ultra-rare SOUTH CAROLINA DRAGOONS pewter coat button! Given that the site was exclusively occupied by the British, it is possible that this button may have belonged to a continental POW! I also managed an unknown pewter cuff that I suspect to be British. Props to Vino for some excellent programming advice and Gheenoe78 for the ID. I will certainly remember this day for a long while!

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Thanks for looking

UPDATE: Given the provenance of the site as a British staging camp, Troiani's updated classification as a loyalist button, and Robert Silverstein's research on the SC light mounted cavalry, it appears the button MAY in fact be attributed to the SC Loyalists. In the interest of full disclosure, significant mystery still surrounds this particular pewter, and ones like it, however I have yet to see another example with a flag aft of the rider. Still my favorite and most rare find to date! Here's a link to learn more from Silverstein's research http://www.georgewashingtoninauguralbuttons.com/1776-1783american-torybritish-crown-loyalist/ For Don Troiani's take, reference the "Loyalist" section in his book Insignia of Independence.
 
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Upvote 59

Ron (CA)

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Sweet find!! That is a fantastic find. I found a variant of that button in a SC Rev War Camp as well.

Congrats!
 

Bill D. (VA)

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I am going to repost this page.
It shows how rare they are and tells the story of them..
This is a INCREDIBLE find, and would love to have it in my collection
George Washington Inaugural Buttons ? 1775 ? 1783American ToryBritish Crown Loyalist

Thanks for that link George! If you scroll down a ways it also includes a 1776 Queens Rangers 1st American Regiment button which is one I found a few years ago. Although mine is in poor shape (found in a salt water environment), at least I now know the story of how that regiment ended up in my area. I dug it at my colonial creekfront site that was the site of an early tavern. I suspect that at some point prior to the battle at Yorktown a few of the soldiers from that regiment must have taken the short boat ride down to partake of some good food and wine, and one of them lost the button during the visit. Very cool that I now have the story behind the find. Thanks again .... Bill

queens rangers btn4.jpg
 

lowcountry

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very nice finds!!! I still wanna hunt with you being in the same neighborhood and all.....:)
 

Iron Patch

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Thanks for that link George! If you scroll down a ways it also includes a 1776 Queens Rangers 1st American Regiment button which is one I found a few years ago. Although mine is in poor shape (found in a salt water environment), at least I now know the story of how that regiment ended up in my area. I dug it at my colonial creekfront site that was the site of an early tavern. I suspect that at some point prior to the battle at Yorktown a few of the soldiers from that regiment must have taken the short boat ride down to partake of some good food and wine, and one of them lost the button during the visit. Very cool that I now have the story behind the find. Thanks again .... Bill

View attachment 1181919



That one is high on my want list. I have dug a 2nd, multiples of the 3rd, and many 4th. Never heard of a 1st found in my area but obviously very possible.
 
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VMI Digger

VMI Digger

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Congrats on that Queen's Rangers pewter Bill, I have found a few pewters inland in similar states that just didn't have enough left to identify. The story definitely enhances the find! I am not sure why this particular seawater site preserves the details so well.
 

Bill D. (VA)

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Congrats on that Queen's Rangers pewter Bill, I have found a few pewters inland in similar states that just didn't have enough left to identify. The story definitely enhances the find! I am not sure why this particular seawater site preserves the details so well.

You were quite fortunate your button withstood that harsh environment, but I'm sure there were other factors involved that we don't quite understand. Regardless, I'm sure you're ultra pleased with the way it turned out.
 

Garrett424

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Really nice find.
 
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VMI Digger

VMI Digger

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Beautiful buttons and great IDs on them!

Thanks Jwarner, still working on an ID for the small cuff with the cross on it. The rope border is consistent with British buttons but I have yet to find a match.
 

PaDirtDigger

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Put in my banner vote as well... Very interesting piece, and then following it all up with lots of good information... Very good read here... Let hope for some more great history from that site for you!! :thumbsup:
 

jwarner51

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Thanks Jwarner, still working on an ID for the small cuff with the cross on it. The rope border is consistent with British buttons but I have yet to find a match.

Well keep us posted if you find anything out! Don't see anything of that age in my area.
 
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VMI Digger

VMI Digger

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Put in my banner vote as well... Very interesting piece, and then following it all up with lots of good information... Very good read here... Let hope for some more great history from that site for you!! :thumbsup:

Thanks Pat, I hit the site again today and recovered an additional 3 .69 Brown Bess Round Balls. Here's a look at the pewters and rounds reunited after 230 years.

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jeff of pa

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Nice Find ! Has anyone found an Exact ID yet ?

If this earns a Banner It must have a solid I.D.
as it cannot be changes after it is up there .

Just saying
 
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VMI Digger

VMI Digger

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Nice Find ! Has anyone found an Exact ID yet ?

If this earns a Banner It must have a solid I.D.
as it cannot be changes after it is up there .

Just saying

Hey Jeff,

The original identification as a American militia button was based on Troiani's previous research. I have reached out to a number of sources and the consensus is that while it could be affiliated with the SC militia, it is far more likely that it is from the SC Loyalist Dragoons, still a very rare find. This identification falls in line with Don Troiani's classification as a loyalist button and verified by Robert Silverstein (reference website on initial link). Provenance from the site as a British Camp certainly supports this finding as well. The button is confirmed as a SC Loyalist Dragoon cloak button. Still can't believe the condition of this pewter!

Thanks for your consideration,

Jon
 
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Erik in NJ

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Confirmed? It's a great Rev War-era button in beautiful shape, probably also quite rare and banner worthy to boot--is it confirmed now to be a SC Loyalist Dragoon button? By whom? Not trying to rain on anyone's parade as I agree that it's a stellar find so *please* don't take this the wrong way, just the word confirmed caught my eye.
 
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VMI Digger

VMI Digger

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Confirmed? It's a great Rev War-era button in beautiful shape, probably also quite rare and banner worthy to boot--is it confirmed now to be a SC Loyalist Dragoon button? By whom? Not trying to rain on anyone's parade as I agree that it's a stellar find so *please* don't take this the wrong way, just the word confirmed caught my eye.
No worries Erik, attributed as a loyalist button by Troiani, verified as such by via Robert Silverstein's research, and validated by the site's provenance. Given the body of evidence and having consulted with many other Tnet members, am confident with the positive ID.
 

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